Gone but not forgotten: 10 things we used to complain about when working from the office that we secretly miss
WFH is a doddle, but not as fun as working from the office with a bunch of people you don’t even like!
Your alarm goes off. It’s 8am. “Ah, five more minutes,” you think to yourself. Your alarm goes off again. 8:30am. You’d best get up now, you think: only half an hour before you start work! You lie in bed for a while, scrolling through all the memes your friends tagged you in last night, chuckling away. Holy smokes, it’s 8:50am! No time for a shower today then (that’s okay, you had one a week ago). Out of bed and into your dressing gown, you plod to your home office (aka kitchen table), open your laptop, and start your working day.
It really is the life, isn’t it? No early morning commute, no stress about running late… But why do you feel like there’s something… missing? Because as much as you hate to admit it, there is. As time has gone on, the WFH life has gotten boring and lonely, and we’ve become slovenly creatures of comfort. We’re now all starting to miss the things about working from the office that used to be a constant source of anxiety, cringe, and major eye-roll fuel.
Here are 10 things we hate to admit that we miss about working from the office.
Rushing to work because you woke up late, only to find out your boss has the morning off
Yep, it’s a real killer, isn’t it? You forgot to clean your teeth, (um, did you eat garlic last night?) and your hair could’ve done with a wash, but you only had time for a body shower so you’re rocking the Ross Geller Friends season two vibes. It’s not a cute look. You scramble up the stairs, trip over and stub your toe, burst into the office… and your boss isn’t in. In fact, he’s taken the morning off. You look like a greasy beaver.. Not feeling nostalgic yet? Come on, is there really an adrenaline rush quite like the ‘Oh-my-god-if-I-get-into-work-late-one-more-time-my-boss-will-fire-me’ one? When was the last time you felt that ALIVE?!
Yes, the traffic sucks. Yes, sometimes you forget to put petrol in your car and crawl down the motorway at 50mph to avoid breaking down while people scream abuse at you, but it’s not all bad. Whether you’re listening to Greg James bang on about some ridiculous challenge he’s got the country doing, or jamming to the new album you downloaded last night, sometimes that commute is what sets you up for the day.
Small talk: “What did you have for dinner last night?”
Remember when we used to be obsessed with what we were all eating for dinner? Yeah, it bred from the workplace. Sometimes it was a little tedious, but it was a good way to enforce that work-life banter and tease your fellow colleagues for their questionable meal choices. Yes, Karen, we know that a bottle of red wine and a pack of gummy bears is not a ‘substantial’ meal, but neither is a packet of crisps and that was enough for the government to allow us to buy a pint in the pub so get off our backs, yeah?
You know, that one. The one that always has something to say about literally everything. It’s always passive aggressive and masked with a snide judgemental smile. They are the worst. They cause you fury. But they were also the source of entertainment on a boring day. Purposefully leave your unwashed plate in the kitchen, grab a bag of popcorn and watch the chaos unfold! Those were the days.
You. Just. Wanted. To. Be. Alone. When you spend all day talking to your colleagues about their dogs and cats, toddlers and teenagers, the last thing you want to do is continue it into your own time. That half an hour lunch break is yours and yours ALONE, so you check to see there’s nobody in the kitchen and take your chance. You’re good to go, chuck last night’s spag-bol in the microwave and take in the quiet – you’re ready to kick back and enjoy some me time. And then Steve from accounts comes in with a tuna salad – really, fish in the workplace, Steve? You resented it then, but as you sit alone all day at your makeshift desk eating a tin of cold baked beans, you kind of miss hearing Steve overshare about his athlete’s foot…
AGAIN?! You were finally getting into your flow after spending the morning looking at Gemma Collins memes. The audacity. Your palms are sweating, knowing that contact at your partner firm is waiting for the documents you were meant to send over yesterday, and you’re imagining your boss dramatically calling you out in front of the whole team and firing you. But actually, looking back, it was just another excuse to go and make a cup of tea with your work bestie and have a gossip, wasn’t it? Oh, the days.
Deep meaningful chats. They’re like Marmite: if you’re drunk on a night out with your best friends, they’re the best. If it’s Steve oversharing about his athlete’s foot again, we don’t love them so much. As much as procrastination is your key skill, and you love to have a good ol’ chinwag in the corner of the office, sometimes people take it to the next level and you end up leaving with far more information about them that you care to know. But looking back, it was nice having people to talk to, wasn’t it? Better than talking to your houseplants…
It’s the most dramatic event of the month. You know it was you, Steve knows it was you, everybody knows it was you, but nobody has the balls to say it. You all look around playing dumb, and you know that as soon as someone notices the endless games of noughts and crosses on the sticky notes covering your desk that you’ll be well and truly caught. But the thrill of it though, am I right? Sticky notes are far too expensive to buy yourself, and you really miss those games of noughts and crosses with yourself.
Every office has one. Dead-pan, bored with life, spends more time doing her weekly Tesco delivery order than actual work. Plot twist – nobody stole the sticky notes, she just hasn’t ordered any for the last six months. She somehow makes you feel afraid to call her when she forgot to post that letter you specifically said had to go out yesterday, because she’s kind of authoritative in an intimidating and unhinged way. News flash – she didn’t forget, she just didn’t want to. But she was funny, wasn’t she? She had the inside scoop with the bosses but was also part of the team, too. She always knew the gossip and was more than happy to share that with you. She’s been furloughed for the last year, so she’s probably now in Spain married to a millionaire. An inspiration.
The awkwardness after a work night out where you got too drunk
We all hate the Sunday scaries. But, preparing for work after an angst fuelled weekend after a woks do is enough to send us all into a complete breakdown. Did you really see your manager hitting on Wendy the secretary or was it a figment of your imagination? Do you think your boss saw you peeing in the beer garden bush because the queue for the toilet was too long? Enjoy stewing on that one. But in the grand scheme of things, was there actually anything better than a work night out? In a nervous bid to remain composed everyone just gets obliterated, says they’ll make sure they pace themselves at the next one, and does it all again. Drink, throw up, pass out, repeat. And Lord knows we miss it.